Looking for a colorful word to describe brave or courageous action? Try derring-do! Your adventurous cousin's stories of derring-do might include climbing mountains, wrestling alligators, and bungee jumping.
This old-fashioned word is perfect if you want a funny way to talk about slightly reckless feats of bravery. A series of misprints and misunderstandings led to poet Edmund Spenser's interpretation of derrynge do (intended to mean "in daring to do") as a noun meaning "heroism." He used it that way in his epic poem, The Faerie Queene. Sir Walter Scott was the first to use derring-do as one word, in his 1820 novel "Ivanhoe."